It was a stupid fight. It wasn’t even about anything, really- they were both just worn out. There was a stomach bug going around Alexandria, hitting most of the kids- nothing life-threatening, but Carol had been running around for the past few days, helping out wherever she could, offering to watch sick children, filling in work shifts for parents who wanted to stay with their own kids. And Daryl wasn’t much better; he’d been one of the few adults to catch it, in the very first wave. He was fine, now, but his exhaustion from that combined with an unsuccessful hunt that morning had left him in a sour mood.
So, when Carol forgot to meet him for lunch that day, they’d wound up snapping at each other. Carol had had to leave for another work shift before they’d cooled down, which led to an uncomfortable distance for the rest of the day.
That evening, she was in the kitchen getting dinner ready with Glenn and Maggie when Daryl walked in. They looked at each other for a moment before he hastily retreated back into the living room. Carol scowled, annoyed with him and herself. This was stupid, she was exhausted, and she just wanted to curl up next to Daryl and do nothing for a couple of hours.
Glenn and Maggie gave each other a loaded glance over her head.
“Lovers’ quarrel?” Maggie asked finally, breaking the awkward silence.
Carol sighed. “We’re not quarreling, we just-”
“Bullshit,” Glenn interrupted. “I heard you two fighting this morning.”
Carol sighed again. “We just… both had a crappy day, alright?”
“So you decided to make it worse by pissin’ each other off?” Maggie asked, raising an eyebrow.
Carol turned to her, giving her a deadpan look. “Of course we didn’t decide to piss each other off. We just had an argument and didn’t have time to cool down after, alright?”
The couple exchanged another look as Carol went back to chopping vegetables. Glenn reached over to take the knife, and she looked back up, confused.
“Go talk to him. We can finish this up.”
“Carol,” Maggie cut her off. “You spend so much time takin’ care of everyone else you barely ever bother to take care of yourself. Go on. We know how to make a stew by ourselves, promise.”
Carol paused, considering debating, but she knew they were right. She surrendered the knife and cutting board to Glenn, gave Maggie a pat on the arm, and went into the living room.
Daryl was sitting on the couch, looking an awful lot like a kicked puppy. He glanced up when Carol walked in, straightening his position.
“I’m sorry,” he said immediately.
She sat down next to him. “Me too. That was ridiculous.”
“Let’s not do that again.”
She snorted. “You know we will eventually.”
He paused, sinking back into the couch slightly. She scooted closer, leaning against his shoulder.
“Well, then… let’s just make up faster next time.”
Carol hummed in agreement, curling up at his side as he slipped an arm around her. “Deal.”